Biography - Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658)
Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon on April 25th 1599. He was born into a family which was for a time one of the wealthiest and most influential in the area. He was educated at Huntingdon grammar school and at Cambridge University, and then became a minor East Anglian landowner. He made a living by farming and collecting rents, first in Huntingdon, then from 1631 in St Ives and from 1636 in Ely. Cromwell's inheritances from his father, who died in 1617, and later from a maternal uncle were not great, 1640 he played only a small role in local administration and no significant role in national politics. It was the civil wars of the 1640s which lifted Cromwell from zero to hero. Oliver was the only surviving son of Robert and Elizabeth Cromwell. They had ten children (three sons and seven daughters). Their eldest son was called Henry, but he died soon after birth in 1595. Their second son was born in 1599 and was christened Oliver, in honour of Robert’s eldest brother, Sir Oliver. He became the eldest surviving son and hei
A younger brother, Robert junior, was born in 1609 but he, too, quickly died. In April 1654, he moved into Whitehall Palace, the former residence of King Charles. He was a captain in charge of a small body of mounted troops, but in 1643 he was promoted to colonel and given command of his own cavalry regiment. This left Oliver an only son, as he was the one son of Robert and Elizabeth to survive infancy. He was successful in a series of sieges and small battles which helped to secure East Anglia and the East Midlands against the royalists. At the end of the year he was appointed second in command of the Eastern Association army, the parliaments"tm largest and most effective regional army, and was ranked "lieutenant-general"tm. Oliver Cromwell died on 3 September 1658 - the anniversary of his great military victories at Dunbar and Worcester - his vision of establishing a "godly commonwealth" having eluded him. In 1655 he split Enland, Wales and Ireland into 11 districts leaving a Major-General in charge of each, but he abolished the Major-Generals on 28 January 1657 due to pressure from the government saying that the civilians disliked the Major-Generals. When civil war flared up again in 1648 he commanded a large part of the New Model Army which first crushed the rebellion in South Wales and then at Preston defeated a Scottish-royalist army of invasion. In 1645-1646, as second in command of the newly formed main parliamentary army, the New Model Army, Cromwell played a major role in parliament's victory in the Midlands, sealed by the battle of Naseby in June 1645, and in the south and south-west. Most of his sisters married and had about 5 children each leaving Oliver with many nieces and nephews. His mother lived with him and his wife, Elizabeth Bourchier, who he married on the 22nd of August 1620 and his children for many years up until her death at Whitehall in 1654. He had no surviving brothers and his father died quite young in 1617, his widowed mother became for a time, head of a household, which included seven growing daughters, sisters to Oliver.
Some topics in this essay:
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